Dear Annie: I’m 18 years old. I work two jobs to save money for college next year, one during the week and the other at a coffee shop on the weekends. Last week, my boss from the coffee shop sent an email to all employees saying that we are now required to take a daily picture of ourselves on a work camera. At the end of the month, the owners (a husband and wife) will judge who is the best dressed and give the winner a $100 gift certificate.
Annie, all of the workers at this shop are high school and college-age females. This makes us uncomfortable, but we are afraid of losing our jobs. There already are video cameras that send black-and-white images directly to the boss’s office. My parents said that they’d be supportive of whatever I decide. I really like and need this job. Yesterday, I dressed very well, but didn’t take a picture. Five minutes ago, I received an email reminding me that the pictures are mandatory. What do I do? – Confused Employee
Dear Confused: We suspect your employers think this is an incentive for you and your co-workers to dress better. While the photographs don’t seem discriminatory, they do appear to be an unreasonable requirement for employment. Your best bet is to get together with the other employees and talk to your bosses. Let them know that you are uncomfortable with this new demand and ask whether they can find another way of getting the preferred results (like an enforced dress code).